Cintas White Paper Offers Tips for Limiting HAIs

Cintas Corporation announces the availability of a new white paper that offers environmental service directors tips to improve the handling of cleaning materials to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The white paper is designed to help healthcare facilities reduce costs and limit any potentially negative implications associated with HAIs.

"On Jan. 1, 2010, Medicare began denying reimbursement for hospital-acquired infections which currently occurs at a rate of 5 percent to 10 percent in many hospitals," says Jan Eudy, corporate quality assurance manager at Cintas Corporation. "While the environmental service department plays an instrumental role in preventing the spread of infection with its cleaning programs, it is equally important to make sure that cleaning tools are properly laundered and/or disposed of to maximize cleaning performance."

Key insights offered in Cintas new white paper include:

- Cleaning programs should focus on floors, door handles and other high-touch surfaces in a healthcare facility

- Infection-control programs should identify typical sources of infectious microorganisms, such as patient to patient contact, employee to patient contact, transmission by visitors and family of patients and deliveries to patient rooms

- An effective infection prevention program requires buy-in from all constituents, including infection control, EVS, nursing staff, patients and visitors

- EVS staff must receive proper education and ongoing training in order to ensure the effectiveness of the cleaning program

- Using a microfiber program limits chemical use and can eliminate over 99 percent of microorganisms on hard surfaces, if used properly

- Hospitals that use a serviced microfiber program help reduce the workload on in-house laundries while meeting CDC guidelines for healthcare laundries

"Penalties associated with HAIs are becoming increasingly tough, so EVS directors need to make sure that they are using the best tools and programs to clean hard surfaces," says Brent Schafer, vice president of healthcare at Cintas. "It is equally important they perform due diligence to ensure those tools are also properly cleaned and maintained."

For a downloadable version of the white paper, visit www.cintashealthcare.com/news.

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